We use primary human epidermal and hair follicle melanocytes, ex vivo organ culture of human pigmented and gray hair follicles, and human full thickness skin to investigate whether compounds/formulations (also via topical application) promote or inhibit hair or skin pigmentation. Specifically, as standardized readout parameters, we evaluate the following by morphology, in situ zymography, and immunohistology/quantitative (immuno-)histomorphometry (for details on our techniques, please click here):
- Number of mature and immature melanocytes
- Melanocyte dendricity
- Melanocyte differentiation
- Melanosome formation
- Expression and activity of the rate-limiting enzyme controlling the production of melanin
- Expression and phosphorylation of the master transcription factor regulating pigmentation
- Expression of proteins regulating melanogenesis
- Expression of growth factors regulating pigmentation and corresponding receptors
In addition, using RNAseq, qRT-PCR, and/or in situ hybridization, we can analyse the expression of molecules involved in skin and hair follicle pigmentation, and assess these within specific compartments from skin or hair tissue sections following laser capture microdissection.
Additional readout parameters are available, and customized experiments can be designed to meet the needs of our customers.
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